Saturday, February 7, 2015

AMONG THE STACKS: Isabella Harper


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hi, Isabella.  Welcome to The Gal.  Let's start off with something easy.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Isabella Harper:
I'm a stay at home mother of two to the cutest kids on Earth.  I'm a little biased, but what mother isn't?  In my previous life, I was an elementary school teacher, but I've always wanted to be an author.  I'm married to the absolute love of my life, who also happens to be my best friend.  Everyone should be so lucky to have someone stand by them when they want to pursue crazy, big dreams!
            When I'm not reading or writing, I love chatting with people on social media and workout out.  If we had no financial worries (meaning I could afford all the certifications I want), I'd teach fitness classes to get out of the house, and keep writing in the rest of my "spare" time.  Pregnant and postpartum mamas are near and dear to my heart, so I'd love to help them while also getting to live my dreams of writing!  Still holding on to those dreams.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things that most people don't know about you?

Isabella Harper:
  1. I was this close to being a ballroom dance instructor when I was 18.
  2. I randomly packed up my things and moved to South Padre Island for a summer to work and live at the beach when I was 21.
  3. I met my husband though my ex-boyfriend.  They were roommates.  Oops.  :)
  4. My absolute favorite country singer is Pat Green.  He started out as a Texas country artist and eventually made it in Nashville.  He was my first concert, he's the only artist I've ever been backstage to, I was at a Pat Green concert with my husband (we weren't together at the time - it's a long story) when he told me he was in love with me, and my husband and I danced to Wave on Wave for our first dance at our wedding.  He's near and dear to my heart.
  5. I am such an introvert!  I've come off snobby and rude more times than I can count due to the fact that I'd rather stand back and listen while getting to know people because it totally freaks me out that I'm going to say something wrong.  I've gotten better at this.  However, this rule does not apply once I start drinking wine.  Or whiskey.  Any alcohol really.  Watch out if that happens, because this introvert is suddenly the opposite, haha!
The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

Isabella Harper:
Oh gosh.  I honestly don't know.  My mom and grandmother tell me that I was reading at 3 - even the newspaper- I didn't care, so long as it had words.  I've loved books my entire life, something that I'm noticing mirrored in my fifteen-month-old daughter.  I do remember a special fondness for Are You My Mother.  When I got older, I really enjoyed the Little House books.  I suppose those are the first "big" books I remember reading.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

Isabella Harper:
What am I not reading?  Haha.  Last night I started and finished Never Never by Colleen Hoover.  I think I'm going to need to take a couple of days before I go back to anything else I have working just to attempt to let my mind wrap around that book.  It was amazing, but I'm still recovering!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Isabella Harper:
I'm honestly not sure.  I've written for as long as I could remember.  I have a recollection of my teachers telling me in school that I had a knack with words and description and that I should really focus on it because I was good at it ... so I did.  I still have notebooks and notebooks of stories I wrote growing up.  I suppose for me, writing has always been my outlet.  I'm much better with words on paper than in person - I get feverous and my words get all twisted and I either ramble like a lunatic or stick my foot in my mouth somehow, or both.  Ha!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

Isabella Harper:
Anywhere that's quiet!  With two young kids, it takes a small miracle to have moments of peace where I can be alone with my thoughts and actually get them down on paper, or on the computer.  If I could, I'd happily go to Starbucks for a couple of hours every day and tuck away in a corner just for a change of scenery.  But for now, I'm happy being tucked away in our bedroom on the other end of the house from the chaos when I get the opportunity to be alone.  Otherwise, it's on the couch with my laptop.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Isabella Harper:
I'm a pantser.  No matter how much I want to plan my novels out, it just doesn't work for me.  I've always struggled with that.  It used to drive me crazy when "pre-writing" was required in school and I had to do web-mapping to show where I planned to take my story.  I usually wrote it, then came back and mapped it out just to appease, ha!
            As far as quirks, I battle wanting to edit as I go.  I tend to re-read since I have to come and go so often from my writing - so I'll be like, that sounds horrible, and I'll butcher it until I'm happy with it.  It's not very productive.  I'm working on it!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Isabella Harper:
For now, it's mostly real life.  Everything is rooted somewhere in something I've experienced or someone close to me has experienced.  I assume eventually I'll probably branch out from that, but for now, that's what I'm working with.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Isabella Harper:
Consistently writing a set amount every day.  It wasn't until recently that I started truly pursuing this as a profession, so it's been an adjustment for my husband to realize that I don't just want the time to write.  I need it.  So we have to balance our schedules and find time for me to do so, which is hard when I'm the only one here most of the day.  (And I'm chasing two little people around for the majority of it!)

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

Isabella Harper:
Personally, I think it's good writing.  I'm a genre hopper - I'll read just about anything you put in front of me (with a few exceptions) and as long as I can dive into the book and the world the author created, I'll consider it a good story.  The ability to tell me about this world, these people, their problems in such a way that I feel like they're part of my life, like I'm there, I can openly weep with them, fear with them, celebrate with them ... if the story can do that for me, it's good.  Probably great. It's got to hold my attention and keep it.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Isabella Harper:
I don't have a ton of characters quite yet, but I like to think I'm a mix of Summer and Faith.  Mostly Summer though.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Why did you pick your particular genre?

Isabella Harper:
I'm a sucker for romance and love, so it just seemed natural to write about it.  It's what I've always written about.  So, I don't think it was so much that I picked the genre - the genre picked me.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

Isabella Harper:
I'm currently fleshing out my short story, The Trouble with Never, into a novel, so you'll be hearing more from Summer and Caleb very soon!  Faith - who's Summer's best friend - has been yammering away in my ear for some time now so don't be surprised if she's next.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
I want to thank you for stopping by.  You had some great answers and it seems the two of us have quite a few things in common :)
            One more thing before you go.  Where can we find you?

Isabella Harper:
tsu ** Goodreads ** Amazon


More about the book:
Love Least Expected
When love drops in unexpected, the strangest things can happen.  Nine short stories from sweet to sultry, full of romance, magic and love from award winning and USA Today recommended authors.

The Trouble with Never by Isabella Harper
(southern romance)

5 comments:

Isabella Harper said...

Thanks so much for having me! <3 I had so much fun!

Meghan H said...

You're welcome. I was surprised by how much we had in common. Please, let me know when The Trouble with Never novel comes out - I'm curious to know more about Summer and Caleb ... but I loved Faith :)

Kishan Paul said...

Thank you for hosting Love Least Expected and interviewing Bella. I loved Faith too.

Meghan H said...

You're welcome. I'm glad that y'all were so open to being interviewed. It's been awesome getting to know y'all - and there are three more Love Least Expected authors to go!! :)

If any of y'all need anything again, please know that you can count on me. Such a great group of women!!

Michaela Miles said...

Love the interview, Bella! Thanks so much for having us all over your blog, Meghan! :-) xx